chapter  5
20 Pages

Tenuous tolerance in China’s countryside teresa wright

In many ways, Zhao Guangjun is typical of China’s rural residents. Often sorely wronged by local officials, farmers have suffered as a result of their lack of economic and political power. Simultaneously, China’s rural residents are a contentious bunch, showing a great willingness to fight back against the injustices that they have suffered. They also have a clear sense of “rights” (quanli ) – including the right to land. And, as with farmer Zhao, they have tended in the post-Mao era to have faith that central Chinese Communist Party (CCP) elites are on their side. With this combination of characteristics, China’s farmers thus far have not posed a serious threat to the ruling regime, yet they remain a volatile force that is far from politically quiescent.